Steve Jobs once warned what to look for in the 'best managers'

By Ian Banks | May 11, 2024

Growth potential

According to the iconic co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, the best managers are often individuals who do not aspire to hold managerial positions. 

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Jobs revealed in a 1985 interview that as Apple and its co-founders recognized the company's growth potential, they recruited a cadre of professional managers to navigate the path to becoming a large-scale organization. "It didn't work at all," Jobs said in the interview. "Most of them were bozos. They knew how to manage, but they didn't know how to do anything. And so if you're a great person, why do you wanna work for somebody you can't learn anything from?" 

Exceptional managers

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Jobs elaborated that individuals who excel in their roles are the ones who ultimately become exceptional managers. "They're the great individual contributors who never ever want to be a manager but decide they have to be a manager because no one else is going to be able to do as good a job as that," he said.